Computers Unkind to Irish, Notre Dame 16th in First 2005 BCS

( — The first BSC Poll of the year was released Monday and despite being ranked 12th in the Coaches’ Poll and 11th in the Harris Poll — the human component, the Irish averaged 25th in the computer polls and are ranked 16th overall at the moment.

In 2002 when Notre Dame was the jewel of all the computer ranking’s eyes, the Irish found themselves higher in the BCS poll than either of the human polls with an offense that couldn’t score. This year the Irish have one of the best offenses in the country and can beat anyone yet are being drug down by the computers.

Part of the reason Notre Dame is seeing such results in the computers polls are the under performing seasons of Purdue, Pitt, and Michigan as well as the loss of the margin of victory factor in the computer polls.

Notre Dame’s opponents right now are not helping the Irish reach the top 12 to become BCS eligible. The Irish also do not face many teams with winning records this season so in order to improve the strength of schedule, the Irish will need some help.

The margin of victory factor is interesting since Sagarin’s Rankings have Notre Dame much higher with margin of victory taken into account. Sagarin has Notre Dame at #12 in his normal rankings, but #23 in his BCS rankings.

Some of the teams currently ranked ahead of Notre Dame include Texas Tech, Boston College, Wisconsin, and Oregon — all teams Notre Dame would be 7+ plus favorites over at this point. Other teams ranked ahead of the Irish in the BCS but not some of the human polls include Penn State, Florida State, and Ohio State.

The good news for Notre Dame is that they only need to move up four spots to get into the top 12 and they have a fairly easy road to get there.

If the Irish win out I can’t see them not finishing in the top 12 of the BCS despite the low rankings form the computers. Notre Dame should get some help in terms of strength of schedule if some of the early season opponents can get their act together and the ranking in the human polls will continue to climb if they keep winning.

While these rankings are not favorable for the Irish, this is far from the end of the world and there is still a lot of time so it makes little sense to complain about them now even though the Irish have proven they are far better than the 16th best team in the country.

It is interesting to note that in 2002 when the Irish won with smoke and mirrors the computers loved them yet this year when the Irish appear to be a much better team and have a real offense, the computers rank them much lower.

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One Comment

  1. The to four teams are to selected by a computer which is fed by a human and also by various coaches and reporter ratings which are as subjective as possible. So actually we have 4 teams to be selected on the personal whims of all selectors who have personal and prejudicial feelings about who they vote for. We need a mathematical non human way to decide. Like the NFL. The top; two winners of each division go at it no matter what their win / lost record is. Now that is mathematical.

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